So we have a mission statement for our home Larp: everything on the stage. The idea that anything important should happen in uptime. For the L in Live to mean anything everyone should have to react to the best moment on that stage. No preparing yourself for the news the army has destroyed your home. Only panic, action and reaction.
There are limits to this. Certain things we prefer prepared – mainly rituals and, if you know you’re going to have to give it, a good speech. On the most part this rule governs anything that should be an emotional reaction – those explosive moments that define and mould a character.
So, to another world now: a tale from Outcast LRP. The ex-Baroness of Solaria (the realm of Knights and gallantry who are loyal worshipers of God of the Sun and winds, Sol) has a pair of demon tainted twins (in a world where demons are indisputably bad news). A savage monster broke the lines and managed to bludgeon a child (they’re plastic dolls, don’t panic). They were magically healed and, because of the way the Gods love children in this system, the spirit of the land ruled the kid was healed. Excellent, if you ask me. Canonically it made sense and there is still the opportunity to mess about with the fun of SHE GAVE BIRTH TO DEMONS.
In Downtime in Outcast you can submit a written action to the story team. These are useful for staging off screen wars which you would be unable to physically represent. Unfortunately in downtime the refs of the world decided the Babe would die of brain damage. The player appealed against this. Thankfully, in my opinion, the refs did overturn this initial call. I like this for many reasons. Largely because it makes sense but also hugely because I had a monster role coming up at the next event and an opportunity to make this much more interesting…
The Child of Sol, a child foretold to be great bastion of the Gods on earth, had been captured and was due to be wed to a demon. The heroes busted her out and fought Gwethyr, the demonic fiancee, to a bloody standstill. When back at camp it turned out the Child of Sol was tainted with demon magic now as well. Any attempts to remove it drew out the worst in her and it seemed that, despite being in a wedding dress, she was not out of fight just yet. Her insanity seemed to increase over time and as it peaked her fiance burst back through the nearest gate to our heroes and another ruck ensued. The heroes managed to get the better of the Demon Lord this time with a young knight binding his soul to the cause of killing him. He shattered his soul, life and legacy in order to do the same to the demon lord.
Queue a bitter sweet rejoice. The Demon Lord dead but with it a hero. The Child of Sol saved but inexplicably still tainted demons. As Sir Francis of Sol began to talk of strength, sacrifice and the noble efforts of the Knight the Child and her sister, the Baroness, were embracing on the outside of the circle. She had her twins with her. Due to her being kidnapped the Child has never seen them before. She asked if sometime in the future she might hold one. The Baroness was shocked as her sister was known to not be maternal and gladly passed her one and they listened to Sir Francis speak.
At the end of the eulogy the night was quiet. Sir Francis asked if any others would speak. The Child of Sol took the floor. Walking slowly away from her sister she spoke of family. The honour to hold her niece, the be reunited with her sister and father. Then she spoke of cost and the dead knight before her. Next she spoke of abilities. How this man that was just a man defied demons and bested Gods. Finally she spoke of their enemies: of demons, of flesh crafters and of Gods. (This last bit was a new idea. From being chosen of the Gods I was now calling them enemies. It’s almost like I’d been waiting 2 hours for the right moment to announce that I’d gone rogue.) Intentions announced the Child took this moment to welcome any who would join the Army of Man and teleported off twirling her mustache.
And carrying the baby. Queue a brilliant emotional response from the Baroness and declarations of War.
Now: what is the net change outcome from the Baroness’ perspective? The difference between death in downtime and the abduction of her babe in uptime? In both she loses a kid.
Well, there is hope – I haven’t killed it when she last saw it. There is an enemy she call still fight – not some spod demon but a named and dangerous villain for her to drive against. Also, there was a chance to react, for people to rally around her in comradery and people who secretly hate the demonic babes to not stop me. This is why we do things on the stage. Real life isn’t a well edited series of perfect responses. It is a messy, honest and glorious story. Let the actors misstep and forget their lines. Tell a sincere story on that stage.
(A quick aside here: the fact I was a traitor is not the cause of my excitement. The Mother and baby were. I should have a new blog up soon called ‘No More Heroes’ please check that out for details)